Increasing renewable energy can relieve Europe’s reliance on fossil fuel imports at volatile prices and protect it from geo-political instability like the ongoing Ukraine crisis. That is according to open letters sent to European Commission President Barroso and European Council President Van Rompuy from ten renewable energy associations including EWEA this week.
The associations point out that the EU’s dependence on energy imports cost €545 billion in 2012. Wind energy avoided €9.6 billion in fuel import costs in the same year, with all renewable energy avoiding fuel import costs of €30 billion in the EU in 2010.
The European Commission’s own figures show the impact of a more ambitious renewables target in 2030: a 30% target would avoid €260 billion more in fuel import costs and reduce gas imports three times further than the Commission’s proposed 27% target.
The ten associations call on Barroso and Van Rompuy to “remove the remaining barriers in Europe’s energy system” to fully exploit the potential of renewables and to “push more ambitious political objectives on renewable energy, so as to put Europe on track to reach a sustainable and affordable energy supply.”
The European Commission is currently working on an energy independence strategy, with the first output expected in June. As part of that work, it is organising a conference on energy security on 21 May in Brussels.
Europe’s imports 54% of its energy and each European spends over €2 per day on fossil fuel imports. That is why this year’s Global Wind Day on 15 June will also focus on energy independence – mid-June represents the moment in the year when Europe has used up its own energy and must switch to energy imports. Find out more